ITTA BENA, Miss. – The Mississippi Valley State University men’s basketball program are coming off its biggest win in years over Alabama State on Monday and will try to parlay that momentum into a SWAC Tournament spot starting with Texas Southern.
What You Need to Know
- Time and Date: Saturday, February 19 (4 p.m.)
- Video: https://youtu.be/bKiAmccz6S0
- Audio: http://www.gwoodlive.com/ (Lee Hall & Joshua Davis)
- Tickets: https://www.impacttickets.com/
- Records: Mississippi Valley State (2-21, 2-11 SWAC) | Texas Southern (11-11, 9-4 SWAC)
- Location: Itta Bena, Mississippi – R.W. Harrison HPER Complex
- Series History: Texas Southern Leads 66-45
- Last Meeting: January 10, 2022 | Texas Southern 95, Mississippi Valley State 58 | Houston, Texas (H&PE Arena)
- Winning Streak: Texas Southern (W9) | Mississippi Valley State’s Last Win: January 23, 2017 (103-89, OT)
Mississippi Valley State Overview
Forcing mistakes can be the key to springing an upset and the Devils seem to have the right formula, averaging 15.57 turnovers caused a game (top-35 in NCAA) and the second-best turnover margin in the conference (1.9).
Caleb Hunter has made the jump into the go-to guy role for the Green and White, slotting second among his SWAC peers in threes per game (2.74), ranking fifth for points per contest (14.5) and seventh regarding field-goal percentage (33.4).
Gary Grant has slowly been rounding into a multi-faceted threat, leading the team in rebounds per game at 4.7 to go along with 9.5 points on average with 30 assists, 19 steals and 12 blocks thrown in.
Elijah Davis has specialized himself in the art of the assist, coming into the weekend second in the league with a 1.71 assist-to-turnover ratio and the seventh-highest assist average of 3.3.
Scouting The Opponent: Texas Southern Tigers
Texas Southern may have had its six-game winning streak snapped by Southern last time out but the Tigers are still roaring through the SWAC, compiling a 9-4 record in league play while sitting one game behind the Jags in the loss column.
TSU is a defensive driven basketball team that loves to play big, carrying the eighth-best rebounding margin in the country (8.0), a top-20 rebounds per game average (39.91), a top-35 three-point defense (30.0), a top-25 scoring defense (63.1) and the SWAC’s top blocking unit (4.4 a night) into this critical late season matchup.
Six-foot-nine University of Houston transfer Brison Gresham has been a man amongst boys in the paint, averaging seven boards (third in SWAC) and nearly two blocks (1.90, second in SWAC) a game to bring a sense of intimidation into the lane.
Johnny Jones’ squad does not have a single player that scores ten-plus points a night but relies on a deep and talented reserve unit as nine student-athletes average five or more points per contest.
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